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23.02.2005 General News

Another ‘Pyram’ scam

By Chronicle

400 Inter-Com Security Guards charge at 'Bank' Financial Controller transfers workers salaries into Non-Banking Institution ANOTHER PYRAM-TYPE SCAM was yesterday exposed when over four hundred security guards of Inter-Com Security Systems besieged the premises of Johnson Loans & Saving Limited (JS&SL) a non-banking financial institution to demand their salaries.

The security guards who spoke to The Chronicle alleged that the Financial Controller (FC) of their company whose name was given as Ernest, a former employee of JL&SL and a shareholder, illegally transferred their salaries to that non-banking institution without their consent.

They continued that over two years ago directives came from the FC that every guard would be paid at the Kaneshie branch of JL&SL. As a result, paying slips were issued out to them to present at the institution for payment.

However, to their utmost surprise ¢7,000 was deducted from the salary of each guard as banking charges. Some of the guards protested against that illegal deduction, but they were summarily dismissed.

They further allege that apart from the ¢7,000 which is deducted as banking charges ¢60,000 is further deducted by the institution at source if one was absent from work for a day.

The Inter-Com guards also complain that apart from their salary deductions, which they claimed were illegal, JL&SL sometimes, delay the payment of their salaries for over two months without any explanation.

Citing examples, they disclosed that the practice at their work place is that every guard is paid on the 21st of every month, however they were yet to be paid their December 2004 and January 2005 salaries.

The workers further asserted that the FC deceived them to believe that the institution being a loans & savings company, they were entitled to soft loans if their salaries were transferred there. This was after he had already transferred their salaries there.

They however claim that they have had their salaries paid through JL&SL for over two years and not a single guard had ever benefited from any facility such as a loan, as Ernest had promised them.

Some of the guards were seen standing in front of the JL&SL forcing their way into JL&SL's illegal 'banking hall'. They were however, restrained by police personnel who descended hard on them, injuring a number of them in the process.

For example, a police inspector The Chronicle was told was the commander of the contingent at the JL&SL premises to protect lives and property, used his AK47 rifle to brutalize a number of guards injuring them in the process.

The Chronicle efforts to talk to officials JL&SL was prevented by the police personnel, who would not allow anybody to enter JL&SL office even after this reporter had identified himself.

At the Inter-Com Security Systems premises at Abelemkpe The Chronicle met Ernest, the FC who after a brief interaction with this reporter excused himself with promise to return within a few minutes. He did not return.

However after thirty minutes this reporter was directed to see the guards' commander one Mr. Joseph Acquaye. But after listening to my questions he declined to provide any answers.

Mr. Acquaye, as a result directed me to see his immediate boss who only introduced himself as Kojo, the Chief Operations Officer. Mr.Kojo told the Chronicle that he had dispatched his Flied Commander to go and assess the situation on the ground and as a result he was unable to speak to the issue.

In the Chief Operations Officer's office tit was agreed that Ernest the FC was the right person to speak on the issue but try as this reporter did, he could not get him again.

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